Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition that afflicts millions of people. Unfortunately, many of them do not even realize they have a problem! They may suffer from snoring and daily exhaustion for years before they seek medical treatment. If you suspect you have sleep apnea, the time to take action is now! The sooner you receive treatment, the sooner you can start enjoying your life again. On this page, we discuss what sleep apnea is, how you can recognize its symptoms, and how our team may be able to provide sleep apnea therapy in Carlsbad, CA.
There are a few different types of sleep apnea, but obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common. In OSA, the soft tissues in the mouth or throat block the airway at night, leading to short pauses in breathing. Individuals with mild sleep apnea may stop breathing just a few times each hour, but in severe cases, the pauses in breathing may occur hundreds of times each night.
Sleep apnea makes it impossible for its sufferers to get high-quality rest. It also decreases blood oxygen levels and increases the risk of a number of other health problems, including heart disease, obesity, and dementia.
Anyone, regardless of their age, fitness level, or gender, can develop OSA. However, there are certain groups who are at a higher risk; OSA is most common in men and postmenopausal women. Smoking, obesity, and structural defects in the mouth and jaw are other significant risk factors.
Loud, persistent snoring is one of the key indicators of sleep apnea. However, these two conditions do not always go hand in hand. Other symptoms that point to possible OSA include:
If you believe you have sleep apnea, schedule a sleep study at a local laboratory. A machine will monitor your breathing and other vital statistics for a night. Then, an expert will interpret your results and let you know if OSA is the cause of your problems. If it is, relief is in sight!
A CPAP machine, which uses pressurized air to keep the airway open at night, is the most common treatment for OSA — but it is not the only treatment. In our dental office, we offer oral appliance therapy. An oral appliance for sleep apnea resembles a mouthguard that you would wear for sports. It is a custom-made device that gently repositions the jaw at night, thus allowing for freer airflow. An oral appliance is much quieter and more portable than a CPAP machine.
Have you recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, or would you like to learn more about this condition and how we can treat it? Contact your sleep apnea dentist in Carlsbad today. We look forward to helping you enjoy quieter, more refreshing rest.
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